By Parveen Chopra October 1996 Did you know that you had two hearts? Two hearts that beat as one. And both, the emotional and the physical are necessary for your life Tips for a Healthy Life See with Your Heart• To activate your heart energy center, press the middle of your chest and concentrate on it for a few seconds. Now recall the most pleasant feeling that you have ever experienced in your life. For example, a feeling of love, of kindness, peace and joy. You may have felt this when you have given yourself in service to others, or shared yourself with your friends, or when you felt closest to God, or may be when you fell in love. You are now going to share this feeling of kindness with the entire Planet Earth.Visualize in front of your chest a small Earth, as small as a ball, one inch in diameter. Imagine the pinkish light from the heart center going to Earth and enveloping it with love and kindness. You can also say this prayer of St Francis of Assisi: ‘Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace/Where there is hatred, let me sow love/Where there is injury, pardon/Where there is doubt, faith/Where there is despair, hope/Where there is darkness, light/Where there is sadness, joy.’ (from twin heart meditation as taught in pranic healing).• Breathe in golden light into your heart, see it open I and expand. Breathe out all your pain, sorrow, grudges—see them leave your heart like a dark cloud. Now see the light expand into the rest of your body and then stream out of it. • When you wake up in the morning, close your eyes and put your attention in the middle of your body—your heart, your solar plexus, and your abdomen. Ask yourself how you are feeling emotionally, right now. Try to distinguish the feelings from the thoughts you are having. Are you feeling peaceful? excited, anxious, sad, angry, joyful, frustrated, guilty, loving, lonely, fulfilled, serious, playful? If there seems to be an unhappy or upset feeling, go into that feeling and give it a voice. Ask it to talk to you and tell you what it is feeling. Really try to hear it and listen to its point of view: Be sympathetic, loving, and supportive towards your feelings. Ask if there is anything you can do to take better care of yourself. (Shakti Gawain in Living in the Light). • Meditate on a blue, clear lake in your heart. Put all your problems into this bottomless lake. Let go of them. Now imagine walking into this shiny, bright lake, take a dip in it and see all your problems leave you. Be Big-Hearted• When you look at people, pour love through your eyes. When you walk, walk throwing love all around. In the beginning, it will just be imagination and within a month you will see it has become a reality. And others will start feeling that you have now become a warmer personality. (Osho). • An asana called flapping wings is helpful in releasing constrictions in the chest area: Stand with your arms outstretched. Now stretch them backwards without bending the elbows so that you feel a pressure in your shoulder blades. Inhale and raise your chest up. Exhale. Keeping your opposite arms outstretched, bring your palms together in front of you, curving the spine slightly forward. Take your hands back while inhaling. Bring them forward while exhaling. • Look into the mirror, and send yourself love through your eyes and say: ‘I love you.’ Do it at least five times and often. • Appreciate life in general, develop a poet’s attitude. Marvel at even the mundane. Feel without thinking. Whether it is love or hatred, experience it directly without any mediator. • Keep a pet. The unconditional love you feel for pets helps in opening your heart. A Change of Heart• Accept your limitations. Try to accept a situation which you cannot change. Some problems get worse if you can not exercise patience. •Do not bottle up hostility, anger and other negative emotions in your mind. Admit them to a person you are close to, and speak about how you are trying to manage them. • When angry, try to talk yourself out of it. Or just watch your anger arise. Try meditation whenever you become aware of cynical thoughts or angry feelings. Be forgiving when people do you wrong. Empathize with others. • In Reiki, by Bodo J. Baginski and Shalila Sharamon, the authors give existential reasons for many illnesses, and the antidotes for each. The hardening of arteries, they claim, indicates resistance, tension, rigidity and narrow-mindedness. The cure lies in openness, flexibility, tolerance, affirmation of life and the the world around you. High blood pressure arises when you haven’t expressed your thoughts and emotions over a long period. You are constantly living on the brink of conflict, without coming to any kind of conclusion, which puts you under continual pressure. The solution is to take a good look at your problems and at whatever else is annoying you. Feel your way into them and live them out without holding onto anything. Heart Facts• To reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis and of heart attacks, remember three things:1. Eat optimally. Eating a bit less does not do much harm but overeating does.2. Reduce the percentage of calories derived from fat.3. Shift from saturated animal fats to unsaturated vegetable fats. • A vegetarian diet has low cholesterol. Take more of seasonal fruits and cooked or raw vegetables. Some people find onion and garlic useful for the heart. If you are a non-vegetarian, prefer white meats. A high salt content in your diet raises blood pressure. Avoid. • Serpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), an Indian plant, known to ayurvedic doctors for at least six centuries, has been found useful in treating hypertension. •Some useful Bach Flower remedies: Heather for developing unconditional love, Holly for free-flowing love energy, Red Chestnut for expressing truelove. I am your physical heart. Since each organ of your body is dependent on me for a constant supply of fresh oxygenated blood, without me your whole body will collapse. Further I take away the de-oxygenated blood from every organ to the lungs where the carbon dioxide is released and the oxygen absorbed. The moment I stop beating, you are declared dead. I am your emotional heart. Without me, you will be unable to feel, to love, to experience joy, or sorrow for that matter: Unable to relate to others, you will become isolated and insensitive. You may as well die. The debate between the two on which is more important can go on endlessly for each heart has its reasons. What is indisputable is that both are equally necessary for your well-being. Following concern over the rising incidence of heart ailments, heart care is gradually getting the attention it deserves. But the emotional heart continues to be neglected. New approaches to psychotherapy and spirituality, however, are trying to restore the balance. So are writers such as Richard Bach. He would, in all probability, refute our belief in two hearts. For Bach, there is only one heart—the emotional one. Feelings dominate his words, taking precedence over everything else: ‘Whatever enchants, also guides and protects. Passionately obsessed by anything we love—sailboats, airplanes, ideas—an avalanche of magic flattens the way ahead, levels rules, reasons, dissents, bears us with it over chasms, fears, doubts. Without the power of that love…’ And for those of you with further doubts, try this: Physical discomfort (like a severe pain in the chest)? Check the patient’s heartbeat, says the family doctor. Emotional ailment (like falling in love )? Check the heartbeat. So who can say that both the hearts are not linked? That they beat as one. We always point to somewhere in the middle of the chest when talking about feelings. Indeed, often emotional pain, sadness or grief is experienced as physical pain distinctly in the heart region. Besides, heart and lung trouble generally have emotional causes. This will not surprise the mystics who have always believed that the heart chakra, located in the energy body, almost overlaps the heart organ. Called anahata chakra in Sanskrit, it is associated with the higher emotions—love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, happiness and joy. And since the chakra is connected with the thymus gland, it gives energy to the heart, lungs, liver and the circulatory system. The word heart implies the most important, the core part. We have it on authority of Charak Samhita, the ancient ayurveda treatise, that the heart chakra is the home of consciousness. Its activation and balancing leads to the expansion of consciousness, which makes the heart chakra the basis of our growth as human beings. The awakening of the heart center makes you extremely sensitive to human experience—your own and of others. It creates in you the virtues of sharing and caring, of putting someone else’s feelings before your own. This enables you to heal yourself and others. In reiki workshops, the master opens the heart and third eye chakra of the student to make him a channel for the life force energy, thereby turning him into a healer. The heart chakra also figures prominently in the twin heart meditation technique as it is taught in pranic healing. The twin hearts refer to the heart chakra, the center of the emotional heart, and the crown chakra, the center of the divine heart. The two chakras are activated by blessing the earth with loving kindness. Twin heart meditation brings about a deep inner transformation and expansion of consciousness, leading to illumination, self-realization; a feeling of perfect harmony and oneness with God. Reiki and pranic healing are not part of the medical mainstream—yet. But cardiologists have proclaimed that your attitude towards life and emotions is linked with the state of your heart. At least one study abroad reported
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